Bus drivers’ union wants the HSR to operate Hamilton LRT

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Saying that privatization doesn’t work, the union representing Hamilton bus drivers has launched an online campaign to “keep transit public.”

It’s part of the Amalgamated Transit Union’s (ATU) effort to have the HSR operate the city’s upcoming light-rail transit project.

READ MORE: Hamilton LRT extension environmental assessment off to Queen’s Park

ATU Local 107 is worried HSR won’t be able to compete for the project tender because Metrolinx is seeking a vendor that can supply components for the new LRT line, as well as operate and maintain it.

The union says these requirements mean that only large groups of private companies may even bid on the project.

READ MORE: Hamilton LRT moves forward following council vote

“Because the HSR doesn’t finance, design or build, they are ineligible to compete in the tendering process, and are out of the running to operate and maintain the LRT,” a petition on the website states.

The petition calls on Metrolinx to remove operation and maintenance from the tender.

LISTEN: ATU Local 107 President Eric Tuck joins the Bill Kelly Show

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Eric Tuck, ATU Local 107 president, said he believes that privatizing the LRT would mean “corporations could put profits ahead of safety and reliability.”

He’s hoping the petition will put pressure on local MPPs and city councillors to encourage the provincial government to allow the HSR to operate the LRT when its complete in 2024.

READ MORE: Province approves extending Hamilton’s LRT to Eastgate Square

“Lets build the LRT with community benefits in mind where you use local labour, you pay fair wages and benefits, you respect local unions collective agreements and you hold the local government accountable for the service they deliver,” he said.

Tuck is hoping city council will declare that the HSR should operate and maintain the LRT line once it is implemented.

 

 

 

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